Cody Simpson to Make Broadway Debut in 'Anastasia'

Cody Simpson attends Spotify's 'Louder Together'-Getty-H-2018
John Sciulli/Getty Images for Spotify

The Australian pop star, actor and environmental activist joins the hit musical's company as leading man Dmitry beginning Nov. 29.

Broadway's amnesiac Russian royalty is about to get a brand-new sweetheart.

Cody Simpson, the Australian star who burst onto the popular music scene in 2009 with his neo-psychedelic surf rock, will take over the male lead role of Dmitry in Anastasia, starting performances Nov. 29.

The musical has been running at the Broadhurst Theatre since April 2017. Inspired by the 1997 Fox animated feature, the story follows a princess who loses her memory in an accident during the fall of the Russian Empire and sets out on a romantic journey that leads her to Paris.

It was adapted for the stage by librettist Terrence McNally, with music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, in a production directed by Darko Tresnjak.

The lead singer of Cody Simpson & The Tide has used his popularity to get behind philanthropic and environmental causes such as the Special Olympics and the United Nations' World Oceans Day.

He will make his Broadway debut as the rascal commoner who initially tries to profit from the mystery surrounding Anastasia's true identity, before gradually surrendering to his feelings for her. Simpson joins current company members Christy Altomare, John Bolton, Judy Kaye, Vicki Lewis and Max von Essen in the musical.

Broadway producers have often recruited stars from the music world lately to breathe new life into long-running shows at the box office. Among them are Brendon Urie and Jake Shears in Kinky Boots; and Jason Mraz and Katharine McPhee in Waitress, along with composer Sara Bareilles, who stepped into the lead role for two successful stints.

Grosses for Anastasia have begun to taper off slightly after the production's strong start, earning $742,382 or 68 percent of its gross potential for the week ending Oct. 14. The show's total box office to date stands at $75.7 million.